Annan says fight against terrorism must be truly global, not divisive

Annan says fight against terrorism must be truly global, not divisive

The United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, today said the global response to terrorism must be truly universal and not divisive.

"It is essential that North, South, East and West must come together to forge a sense of human solidarity and unified purpose," Mr. Annan said in a message to the Conference of Heads of State from Central and Eastern Europe on Combating Terrorism that is being held in Warsaw, Poland. To defeat the scourge, he said, "we need a sustained effort and a broad strategy that unite all nations, and address all aspects of the scourge we face."

Mr. Annan said the unity born out of the 11 September tragedy should bring all nations together in defence of the right of all peoples to live in peace and security. "This is the challenge before us as we seek to eliminate terrorism in every part of the world."

Reviewing the UN's response to the 11 September attacks in the United States, the Secretary-General noted that among the many other actions, the Security Council had unanimously adopted a broad resolution aimed at targeting terrorists and those who harbour, aid or support them. A Counter-Terrorism Committee, chaired by the United Kingdom, was set up to implement the resolution.

The Secretary-General urged all countries to support the Committee. "Counter-terrorism experts are being sought in the fields of customs, immigration, extradition and financial law and practice, police and law enforcement work and illegal arms trafficking," he said, appealing to those attending the Warsaw Conference to collaborate in this effort.

The Secretary-General's message was delivered on his behalf by Valdimir Petrovsky, Director-General of the UN Office in Geneva.